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Description - The Crisis by Thomas Paine

In the winter of 1776, the American War of Independence, which had been declared months before, was in trouble. British troops had quickly advanced through New York to crush the rebellion, and the Continental army was in retreat and on the verge of disintegration. At the end of that year, on 23rd December, Thomas Paine, who had previously inspired the revolutionary cause with his stirring pamphlet "Common Sense", published the first of a new series of essays aptly titled "The Crisis". Paine had a gift for memorable phrasing and the first words of "The Crisis" soon became famous.General Washington found the writing so uplifting that later, during the bleak winter of 1777 at Valley Forge, he ordered Paine's essay to be read by all the troops. Paine continued his writing through the duration of the war with eloquent appeals for justice addressed to British leaders and citizens, and uplifting words to bolster the patriots in their fight for independence. A document that provides many insights into the hardships and precarious uncertainties that threatened the birth of our nation, "The Crisis" belongs on every American's bookshelf.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781591026310
ISBN-10: 1591026318
Format: Paperback
(215mm x 140mm x 14mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Prometheus Books
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Thomas Paine

THOMAS PAINE was born in Thetford, England, on January 29, 1737. He was forced to leave school early to enter his father's trade of stay-making; but Paine rejected this and, following unsatisfying attempts at several other professions, he emigrated to the American colonies, arriving in Philadelphia in November 1774. On Benjamin Franklin's recommendation, Paine was hired for six months as managing editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine, to which he contributed various poems and essays. During this time of growing dissent within the colonies, Paine first called for a reconciliation with England; however, after the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, he became a tireless propagandist for separation and, in January 1776, published his pamphlet Common Sense. This work, which was first published anonymously, and his American Crisis exercised a profound influ-ence on public opinion and morale. Following the War of Independence Paine returned to England where he was welcomed as a celebrity; the accolades soon ceased, however, with the publication of the Rights of Man (1791), a defense of the French Revolution meant to be a reply to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Forced to leave England due to the public outcry his book had occasioned, Paine traveled to France, where he was granted citizenship. However, after he spoke out in defense of the deposed king Louis XVI, Paine was im-prisoned in 1793 and nearly executed. While in prison, Paine began composing his statement of religious belief, The Age of Reason. Although pilloried as a declaration of atheism, The Age of Reason actually espoused deism: Paine rejected the inerrancy of the Bible and disputed revelation. The God who had created the universe had given humankind the gift of reason which it would apply to the management of its own affairs and the discovery of the physical universe. Paine returned to the United States in 1802; while welcomed by President Thomas Jefferson, the former champion of liberty was ostracized by many as that "outrageous blasphemer." Never-theless, the influence of The Age of Reason began to grow as the nineteenth century progressed and freethought challenged out-dated religious beliefs. Thomas Paine died in New York City on June 8, 1809.

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Common Sense by Thomas Paine
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Selected Writings of Thomas Paine by Thomas Paine
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